The politics of speech: engendering the public sphere
thesisposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Danielle Griswold
Throughout history, the public image of the female politician has been influenced by the notion that the identity of a ‘politician’ is male. The female body enters into the representational “space” of a rhetorical event as it is limited by a masculine structure (de Beauvoir 1407). Since politicians are still subject to the limitations of engendered language, a woman in the public sphere must embrace the masculine image of the politician, while still identifying herself as a woman in order to gain respect and social acceptance. However, by adopting a masculine image, women can run the risk of upsetting gender roles and possibly threatening masculinity itself. If women are becoming more masculine in order to find their place in politics, what then becomes of the ‘male’ politicians?